Bomb-sniffing elephants trained in South Africa

Ranger rides an elephant during a demonstration of the art of "bio-detection", to see if it can be used to sniff out explosives, at the Adventures with Elephants game ranch, in MabulaBy Ed Stoddard MABULA, South Africa (Reuters) – In the South African bush, elephants are being trained in the art of "bio-detection" to see if they can use their exceptional sense of smell to sniff out explosives, landmines and poachers. Think about mammoths, which had to find food through the ice," said Sean Hensman, operator of Adventures with Elephants, the game ranch 180 km (110 miles) northwest of Johannesburg where the training is being conducted. In Hensman's case, he said his father was startled in the 1990s while watching a herd of elephants in Zimbabwe to discover that a female member of the herd had tracked him. Inspired, his father trained 12 elephants for anti-poaching patrols in Zimbabwe but in 2002 the family lost their three farms to President Robert Mugabe's land seizures and came to South Africa.

February 24, 2015 4:52 pm

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